Haitian Outreach

March 2010 Update

Back Row: Axelle, Louis, Mackenson, Claire, Wesner, Mary, Yvens, Sr. Cadet
Front Row: Gloria, Norman, Karen

We went to Haiti after a delay in flights because of the earthquake which struck Haiti in January. We flew March 19 and returned April 2, 2010. When we approached Haiti the destruction was unbelievable. Once on the ground it was worse than imagined. At the compound at Canapé Vert, Port-au-Prince the mother house and the noviciate and the shelter for girls and the visitors quarters are all destroyed. We lost two nuns, ten shelter girls and three sponsored children in the quake. We still have fifteen sponsored children that we cannot find but three young men who help us in Haiti Wesner St. Charles, Yvens Jean Baptiste, and Makenson Merisca are still searching for them. This year we had to stay in Lilavois at the fish farm because of the conditions at Canapé Vert. Lilavois has damage and the sisters are sleeping outside. Our compound at St. Marie is overrun with families who have set up sheet tents on the property because their huts are all destroyed. We have about 360 families living there with the sisters. Debris is being cleaned up at the compound thanks to many generous donors to Haitian Outreach. The visitors quarters has been demolished and an area cleared for the nuns to live until their mother house is rebuilt.

We are fortunate that our newest building "Bureau Leclerc" remained intact a few minor cracks but they have been repaired and a new bathroom has been installed with a bathtub, shower, sink and flush toilet to be used by the nuns. This building is our Family Center where our shipments of backpacks, food, shoes and clothing are kept to distribute to the poor.

We never charge for the supplies in our Family Center. All we ask is that each family try on the clothes to make sure they fit and the same with the shoes which, by the way, are in very short supply. When the quake hit our supplies provided much needed help for all. There has been no government help to the people at all since the quake. The only visible help has come from the U.S. at the airport, rice distribution to some. The French Red Cross has a few first aid tents and the Swiss Red Cross distributes water for washing not for drinking. USAID has a program where Haitians are hired to clean the rubble with hammers and shovels and wheelbarrows but everything is done by hand. There is no large equipment there to help pick up the debris. The Salvation Army is there and the Mormon Church. If small nonprofit church groups like ours were not in Haiti, nothing would get accomplished. Some groups are helping with medical, some with feeding children, some with distributing tents, some helping to clean up the debris. The Haitians are amazing people. I don't know how they are managing. Conditions are deplorable

At St. Marie we have hired about ten men to help with the cleanup and they are being paid $4.00 per day which enables them to feed their families. There is plenty of food and water in the marketplace but only for purchase. Nothing is given free. Tents are desperately needed because most poor families are living in tents made of bed sheets and the rainy season is fast approaching. Our sponsored children were very happy to see us and the sisters set up a day of "Joy" so the children could come to be interviewed, measured and photographed receiving their backpacks from their American "Godparents." This was repeated at all the schools we service. Because of all the destruction we took names and photos of 50 children who desperately need sponsors. If you know of anyone interested please let us know at 978-345-7223.

Also, any donations are gratefully accepted. You can be sure that it will be used wisely and all of it will be sent to Haiti to continue the cleanup in Haiti.

Thank you,
Louis & Claire Giuliani